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Musings On Appropriate Christian Ministers' Dressing

9:18 pm Tosin Eyebiokin-Olugbade 0 Comments




I like watching preaching videos a lot on YouTube. So I was looking out for something new to watch and I came across the message of a popular minister. I opened the video and I was immediately shocked by what I saw. This female minister (name withheld) was actually preaching to a global audience and wearing a dress that revealed her cleavage. You could even see part of her bra as she move about on the altar. I was so astonished.

I would say, she is not the first female minister to dress inappropriately.  Sadly, some Christians don’t see anything wrong with this, and others, well, would asked that we all just keep silent and go with the culture shock.

Is there an appropriate dressing for female ministers?

I believe there is and so the right answer is yes. Looking at the levitical priesthood dressing in Exodus 28:2-4, Leviticus 8;7. Special outfits were designed for those who were chosen as priests and while it seemed that others just wear what they chooses,  all worshipers are also expected to adhere to the  "worship-mode" dressing as such that would not provoke lusting while establishing a clear distinction between the genders.

Today the priestly robe has evolved beyond collars, cassocks and various styles of pulpit gowns that we grow up to known its "churchy". Those who wear this then and even now are recognized as ordained ministers. This is not to say that all ministers must follow this trend. It is neither a symbol of holiness nor the gold-standard for approximate dressing. I am just establishing that appropriate attire for ministers, originates from the bible and its based on the belief that we are an ambassador of a new order under God. 

Some would say we are no longer the law; we are under the law of liberty in Christ Jesus. Which means the priestly garment are not a must. YES, I agree. But does liberty permit us to anything and everything. Galatians 5:12 says not to use our liberty as occasion to flesh. Paul goes on to say in Romans 12:1 that we are to present ourselves ( our bodies ) as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God. In 1 Timothy 2:9, 1 Peter 3: 3-5 Women (I mean Christian women) are being admonished to modesty.

Let’s do some straight talk here.  I agree that we are all from different backgrounds, cultures and world views. But once you accept Jesus and rise to the extent of being a minister, you become a representative (ambassador) of Jesus. Hence the bible is now your handbook/guide. Therefore, if you are doing contrary to what is written in your handbook the bible, you are no longer representing JESUS. It simply means you have defected and representing something else or someone else.

As a minister, when your audience are distracted because of what you're wearing or how you won it carelessly, that simply means they haven’t heard anything you said. They were just thinking of how to get your super shinning earrings or flashy "flesh" revealing outfit. In other words, you haven't represent Christ but you have fully represent yourself.

I am definitely not against jewelries or cool clothes. I am just saying as ministers , we are there to exalt and present Jesus. But if we project anything else either by commission or ommission in a way that distract your hearer from getting the the real gospel message, you really have not sow at all or have just down precious seed among thorns. So, you must watch out and make sure to follow the master.

Whether it is the too flashy jewelries, the very tight clothes, cleavages and other excessive indulgence,  Christian female ministers especially must be careful so that you don’t put stumbling blocks on people’s way at knowing the saviour.

Cleavages and inappropriate dressing cause distraction for men and women alike. Sue Edwards ,an author interviewed lots of men for her book Mixed Ministry and   told how much cleavage distracted them. The men “said with just the bit of a woman showing, the man’s mind goes to the whole thing. Not one man said its ok, I am used to it.....no big deal.”

Brian Andrews said” modesty is an increasingly rare commodity in this day and age and I believe women and men could use with good helping of it. You've got to realize that men are very visual oriented and you are going to distract us that way whether we show it or not. We have had a hard enough time with all the tv an magazines that show blatant sexual   content while trying to keep our focus on God. For a woman to be showing off in church to me seems almost like an insult to injury scenario.”

Meagan, a mother of four boys, 21 , 12,11,and 8 respectively had this to say on modesty. “I didn’t go through issues like I have gone through with my 3 youngest boys. They are very visual, and I had no idea what or how it affected them to see girls women hanging out (in exposed dressing) all over the place at a summer theme park few years ago. They were asking me to do something about it…imagine that.   They knew in their heart that it wasn’t right.”

This is not a church police thing here, neither am I been judgmental. The bible asks us to speak the truth in love. We all need to repent anywhere...occupy till I come. And though this blog is basically about female Christian ministers. It is not limited to them. If you are truly saved, you should dress modestly. And hey! You don’t need to wear a cassock to be a minister. Once you identify as a Christian and you are talking about your faith, you are already a minister! People are watching out for words and deeds! More so, your faith requires good deeds too....and your good deeds must be according to the dictate of your Good Master.

"Ye are our epistle written in our hearts known and read of all men"  2 Corinthians 3:2

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